Zebra Junction

Multi-instrumentalists Flitz Alan (Shawn Palmer) and Micah A. Lundy make up this fun and unassuming duo that strums, stomps and harmonizes its way through a dozen upbeat variations of acoustic Americana. Along with bluegrass-inflected numbers about the joys of drinking corn and the burdens of conquering fear ("Honey," "Chickens Will Sing"), the album features a sea chantey from a whaling widower ("Going Home") plus a brass-charged, Muppet-baiting scat ("Small H2O Blues"). The album's most adventurous track, "Vanity" (my vote to replace the theme music for America's Next Top Model), blends clavinet, jaw harp, flute loops, a Playskool tape deck and a bowed upright bass into a cautionary tale on the nip-tuck craze. Co-engineered by Columbine survivor and keyboardist Richard Castaldo, Waterborne boasts cameos from banjo ace Armando Zuppa and seagull impersonator Maceo the Cat. There's also plenty of meandering cosmic commentary from Thom Knox, who espouses the philosophy of Zeb: something that involves hobos, harmonicas and thinking "outside the circle."


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